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Discussion Starter #1
Now that I have the experience of towing our camper for almost two seasons, I would like your thoughts on my experiences, and a question: Am I OK with the Ridgeline or do I need a big V8?

Facts: I am a Honda man, love them and their dependability. This has been my first experience towing, and I have towed about 6 to 8 thousand miles now and have 18,000m on my 2014 Ridgeline. I am towing a Camplite 14DBs camper with a radiused front end, tandem axle and dry weight of 2600#. We try to travel light so total weight hopefully not much more than 3000#. No weight distribution hitch nor sway bars, and this works fine. It tows very well and steady. I love non interstate four lanes as I can go 50 to 60mph and it does fine. On the interstate, I tend to target 65mph and here is the question: The Ridgeline at this speed frequently stays in 4th gear, and often down to 3rd, running at 3000 to 3500. I try not to go to 4000 RPM very often. This is so different than a big F150 V8.

If I run up or beyond 70 mph, I can keep it in 5th and 4th, but I really do not like this high a speed, as I am retired, and simply not in a huge hurry.

Our trips have been 400 miles one way at the most, in one day. We want to do the 1500+ miles to get out west. I am concerned about this 3rd gear business in the 3000 RPM range, can this Ridgeline get us out west comfortably and be dependable? Is this OK for the Ridgeline, will it "wear out" prematurely?
 

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..... I am towing a Camplite 14DBs camper with a radiused front end, tandem axle and dry weight of 2600#. We try to travel light so total weight hopefully not much more than 3000#. ...
I will let the RL owners chime in on whether the vehicle is up to this task.

But regarding the weight of your camper trailer, I would suggest that your total weight is a fair bit higher than your 3K lbs estimate. "Dry weight" specs are notoriously optimistic, and usually do not include standard items such propane tanks, batteries, contents of water tank and waste tanks, optional equipment, etc. Plus obviously your gear -- which most people tend to underestimate the total weight of their gear.

Using a figure of 3.5K lbs or so is probably more realistic. You could confirm by going to a weight station.

As a Pilot owner, another thing I will mention is that my max tow rating of 4.5K lbs is only for a boat trailer. The max tow rating for any other kind of trailer (inculding camper trailers), is 3.5K lbs. You may want to double check your owner's manual to see if there is any difference in the max tow ratings for the RL depending on trailer type.
 

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2009 Ridgeline RTL (with nav) in Bali Blue Pearl
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The Ridgeline owner's manual makes no reference to different weight limits based on trailer type.

I've been told that having the Ridgeline's transmission run for extended period in lower gears can make it overheat. Using 91 or higher octane gasoline will improve the torque curve of your engine so you can tow in higher gears for longer periods; it really does help. Of course, if you're towing "a big brick" into the wind, all bets are off.

I tow a heavy boat, so my aerodynamics are pretty good. Nevertheless, I have towed this heavy boat on a 1,220 mile round trip that took me up and down the Appalachians with no mechanical problems; I just wish I had better brakes descending the mountain.
 

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3 points:
You are well under the RL tow specs so it will all be fine (just noisy).
Many trailers have tires with a max speed rating of 65 MPH.
The higher revving noises are what ultimately led me to get a bigger towing engine (Ford V10); just for my audible pleasure.
 

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Agreed, your well within Ridgeline towing specs.
It's a V6, it's going to rev more when towing.
I tow a TT that's more like 4-4500 loaded and it works great.
65mph should be the max tow speed-check your TT tires for speed rating.
91+ octane really does help; I notice it more with less hunting/shifting in the tranny.
I probably forgot something else to say, but it's late here. :^)

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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Discussion Starter #7
Hi speed lever

Are the two posts you referenced indeed from a Honda engineer? If yes, then he should be a definitive authority. Many thanks
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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None other than Gary Flint himself. So yes, that is indeed a position of authority on the G1 RL. ;)
 
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Cairn Terrier - Gary Flint was the leader of the original Ridgeline Gen 1 design team and one of the very best in the business. When the Ridgeline was introduced, Mr. Flint's team provided outstanding technical information that described the truck's capabilities and the design choices that they made. It is well worth reading and will greatly boost your confidence in the vehicle.

I like Gary's post that is linked above - this quote is classic:
"Just tow in drive and plant your foot into the accelerator. It is a Honda engine and can run at WOT all day. You may not be satisfied with the FE when trailering at high speeds with a high profile trailer. However, I have towed at over 100mph in SD at 100F and not had problems (except for frequent fuel stops). As long as the vehicle is moving, the transmission oil cooler can do its job."
How many chief engineers out there in the auto business today have enough confidence in their products and the test data to back it up, to say what Gary did?
 
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